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Denver Tree Service Shares What You Need to Know About Drip Irrigation

September 5, 2018

When it comes to keeping your yard and landscaping properly watered, you have a few options to choose from. You can hand water each plant, rely on sprinklers, or install a simple drip irrigation system to keep your landscaping in good condition. Though each option has its benefits, many Denver landscaping companies have seen great success when clients implement drip irrigation systems throughout their yard. If you’re looking for a simple way to streamline your watering process, but aren’t sure what to expect from a drip irrigation system, you’re not alone. Here’s what you need to know about drip irrigation, its installation process, and how it can help keep your trees growing strong year after year.

Drip Irrigation is Not Right For Every Home
Though effective, drip irrigation is not the best option for every home and landscape. Before installing a system, it’s important to look at your yard, the types of beds and plants you have, and decide just what you want the irrigation system to accomplish. The hoses deliver water to concentrated areas and are thus not ideal for irrigating a lawn or yard with minimal groundcover. However, if you have multiple trees, carefully crafted garden beds, and even a vegetable garden in the back yard, a drip system may work.

These Systems Work With Other Irrigation Methods
Even though drip irrigation systems are not ideal for every type of yard or landscape design, they can be installed and used in conjunction with other irrigation systems. Install sprinklers for a large lawn and focus the spray to cover the grass only. For other plants and flower beds, the drip irrigation system will be sufficient enough to properly hydrate the roots and keep the plants growing efficiently throughout the year. The soaker hoses emit enough water to keep even established trees hydrated and happy.  

Installation Requires the Right Timing
Installing a new irrigation system of any kind requires digging up at least a portion of your yard. While drip systems won’t require you to completely destroy the garden bed just to install new lines, it will disturb the soil. Instead of waiting until the middle of summer to install a new system, wait until the end of the growing season to schedule an installation. This way, the garden will already be fading and any disturbance in the soil will not impact the way your plants flower or produce fruit. Most Denver residents see great results installing new systems in early spring or early fall, depending on the type of plants they have in the yard. An experienced landscaping team will be able to determine which season is the best for your yard.

The Lines Need Filters
It should come as no surprise that filtered water is better for your plants and landscaping. When installing a drip system, make sure the water intake is filtered properly. All you need are small hose-sized filters to collect unwanted sediment and contaminants. Without the filters, the drip lines and soaker holes can easily become clogged. If the lines get clogged, they can’t keep your landscaping properly watered and your plants will suffer.

Water Pressure Makes All the Difference
Drip systems, more so than any other type of irrigation system, require the proper water pressure to work. If the water pressure is too low, the hoses won’t distribute the water your plants need. If it’s too high, the ground will become rapidly saturated and lead to root rot and fungal growth in the garden bed. Before installing the system, have an experienced landscaping company check your water pressure to ensure that it’s strong enough to deliver the right amount of water to your plants.

Watering Schedules Still Matter
As with any type of irrigation system, you’ll still want to institute a watering schedule with a drip system. Leaving the unit running 24/7 will only flood the landscaping and running it too infrequently will cause your plants to wilt. Instead, work with an experienced landscaping company to determine the proper watering schedule for your new system. This way, you’ll be able to set the timer accordingly and trust that your plants will get the water they need when they need it. Remember, the schedule might differ from the one you used when relying on sprinklers alone as less water evaporates each time the system is running.

You’ll Save Money
Water is expensive and the more that evaporates before it reaches the plants’ roots, the more you’ll need to use to keep the landscaping looking its best. By investing in a drip system, you’ll reduce the amount of water used to keep the plants hydrated. Over time, the system will reduce water consumption and, thus, lower your water bills month after month. If they start to increase, you’ll know that the system has a leak and needs to be repaired by an experienced contractor.

Drip Systems Still Need Maintenance
Drip irrigation systems, like any other system, requires regular maintenance in order to ensure that the unit works properly. During the winter, the lines need to be blown out to remove any excess moisture that could freeze and cause underground water leaks. The filters and screens installed must be periodically inspected and cleaned to prevent sediment buildup and system interference and the lines must be flushed at least once a year to maintain water quality for the beds. While most of the maintenance can be done on your own, it’s best to leave it to an experienced landscaping company.  

No matter what type of yard or landscaping you have, the right irrigation system can make all the difference in the health and wellbeing of your trees and plants. Whether you’re looking for advice on the best watering schedule for your trees or need to remove a dead tree that suffered from root rot, Arbor Garden is here to help. Our experienced tree care team can help with everything from routine pruning to full tree removal to clear up your yard and get rid of pests. Call (303) 722-8820 for a free estimate today.